34 Exercises of Freedom: #22 I Owe You Everything
by Clémentine Deliss and Chief Robert Joseph

Chief Robert Joseph, opening of the Public Programs of documenta 14 at Parko Eleftherias, photo: Stathis Mamalakis

I Owe You Everything is a project that chooses and follows a series of contemporary thinkers, poets, and activists who are invited to construct a public “act of giving,” a critical and poetic ritual, in which they give “everything” to the Parliament of Bodies of documenta 14.

What is worth giving? What do we “owe” to each other? What has to be given back to history in order for history to change? The public act of giving is a critical and poetic ritual in which an artist, activist, thinker, or poet “gives everything” to someone else. The units of giving acts constitute a chain of heterogeneous practices, reservoirs of affect and immaterial value. The acts of giving explore different cultural and political economies such as debt, gift, potlatch, revenge, retribution, promise…

Clémentine Deliss is curator of the Dilijan Art Initiative in Armenia. From 2015–16, she was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin. She studied contemporary art and anthropology in Vienna, Paris, and London. Between 2010 and 2015 she directed the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt/Main, and from 2002 to 2009 ran the interdisciplinary research lab Future Academy, with student cells in London, Edinburgh, Dakar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Melbourne, Tokyo, and Yamaguchi. She was the publisher of the itinerant artists’ and writers’ instrument Metronome and Metronome Press (1996–2007), which was presented at documenta 10 and documenta 12.

Chief Robert Joseph is a hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the executive director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and is an honorary witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As chairman of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation and ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation with the interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), Chief Joseph has sat with the leaders of South Africa, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, and the USA to learn from and share his understanding of faith, hope, healing, and reconciliation. Chief Joseph was a participant in the copper-breaking ceremonies Awalaskenis I and Awalaskenis II.

Posted in Public Programs